If you are running a small business, chances are that by now you have heard about the potential benefits of social media activity as a way to get some low cost online exposure. While what you’ve heard is definitely true, a lot of people seem to think that it’s enough to make a Facebook profile and the customers will start pouring in. My attempt to bring more customers to my husband’s plumbing business taught me a lot about online marketing and things that you need to do in order for your social media campaign to be a success, and I have decided to share some of my observations with you.
A Solid Base
In order to create a good social media response, you need a base, something that your social media profiles will lead to, and that is your website. Your site and blog have to reflect your professionalism and to provide visitors with useful and interesting information. Just posting the basics about your business and publishing an occasional update on your company won’t exactly make the readers flock around your site. Instead, make sure that you are frequently publishing quality content (which is not always an easy task, but is well worth the effort), that your site is beautiful to look at, easy to use and that you have optimized it for SEO. Once you have that, you can begin your social media campaign.
Choosing Your Medium
There are a lot of social networks out there, and you can’t make engaging profiles on all of them. As a matter of fact, if you succeed in engaging the audience on one or two websites, you should consider yourself lucky, so don’t waste your efforts, and focus all of your attention on just a couple of profiles. But how to choose which ones?
This will depend on the demographics you are catering to. Where do they hang out most, what are their interests and what site are they most likely to be using? You can use common sense to determine this, but there are also some tools available that are able to give you this kind of information.
Making Use of Every Advantage
With its huge user base, Facebook is usually a good choice for one of the profiles that you intend to focus on. Naturally, you won’t make a profile for your company, but instead a page, as they are more reliable and give you a better platform for your marketing endeavors. One of the advantages of Facebook over some similar sites is that it allows you to construct ad campaigns that can be seen only by people in your target demographics. This allows for a much better conversion, saves you some money and spreads your message only to people who may actually be interested in what you have to say.
Listen to People
While most people engage in social media marketing in order to have themselves be heard, one of the greatest advantages of this is that you are gaining a channel through which you can listen to your potential or existing customers. You can get amazingly detailed feedback on your business, provided that you have a decent following. While it may not always be great to listen to people complaining about you, it can help you improve your business, which cannot fail to bring in more customers. The best thing about it is that you can show people that you value their opinion and that you are willing and able to correct your mistakes.
Social media also allows you to engage in networking and creating a solid lead database. By offering different incentives, from prizes to exclusive content, you can get a huge amount of emails, that you can later use for your (hopefully not too spammy) email marketing efforts. Apart from meeting potential customers, you also get to make relationships with influencers in your niche, which can not only increase your exposure, but actually make you better at what you are doing.
Making a good and informative video clip is really not an issue today, so make sure that your page or profile has something for the people who don’t like reading through walls of text. Apart from introducing some diversity and giving you additional opportunities for promotion, publishing videos is a great way to elaborate on your branding.